Turning up the (w)heat: PFA chairman sends 15 bags of flour to PML-N's Uzma Bukhari

Updated 23 Jan 2020

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Bukhari says bags sent to mock her; PFA chairman says he sent bags in response to PML-N leader's challenge. — DawnNewsTV/File
Bukhari says bags sent to mock her; PFA chairman says he sent bags in response to PML-N leader's challenge. — DawnNewsTV/File

In an astounding turn of events on Wednesday morning, Punjab Food Authority (PFA) Chairman Umar Tanveer sent a truck full of wheat flour bags to PML-N leader Uzma Bukhari's house in Model Town, Lahore.

According to Bukhari — who spoke to Hum News on the matter — 15 of the bags were piled outside her house.

"This was an attempt to mock me. They made footage of flour bags being piled outside my house. They were adamant that the truck would remain parked there too, I had to force them to leave," Bukhari said. According to PFA members, Bukhari did take one bag of flour from the truck and paid Rs790 for it.

Speaking to DawnNewsTV, Tanveer said that Bukhari had repeatedly said on TV [last night] that she could not find aata at any of her local stores.

"We sent her 15 bags of aata as a goodwill gesture," Tanveer said while adding that the act was not meant to insult her.

"We even sent a truck full of aata to her place so that all of the ‘citizens’ [of her area] she kept referring to could also have access to it," Tanveer said.

"She challenged me, and according to her wishes, we sent her bags of flour," the PFA representative said, while admitting that he did not have the authority to move wheat flour like that.

The Punjab government is yet to take notice of the issue.

Earlier on Monday, members of the Senate lambasted the government for the wheat shortage and condemned Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid Ahmed's remarks on the issue, which they said made “a mockery of the people of Pakistan”.

Rashid, when asked to comment on the wheat crisis in a press conference, had said: “In November and December, people eat more bread than usual. It’s not a joke, a study backs my claims.”

The opposition and the centre have continued to bicker over the ongoing wheat crisis in the country.

While the PTI had laid the blame squarely on the Sindh government, citing untimely purchasing and a subsequent shortage in supply to the flour mills, the Sindh government had taken exception to being the target of "a dirty blame game" and in turn held the prime minister responsible.

Meanwhile, the PPP and PML-N had alleged that despite a shortage in reserves of wheat, the commodity had been exported.

Further, leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif had demanded an inquiry to determine who had authorised the move.